Archive | July, 2010

Best Brownie Mix!

30 Jul

I like brownies.

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Does anybody not like brownies?

These are Ghirardelli brownies, so of course they were good!  Check out that flaky top.  I would highly recommend this brownie mix when you’re too lazy to make brownies from scratch.  Which, even for me, who loves to back, was today.  There’s something about foods with exotic brand names that just feels special.  Godiva, Haagen Dazs, Petit Ecolier, etc.  They just sound so fancy!

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For lunch I enjoyed a delicious salad from a local sandwich/salad place.  It contained romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, chicken, bell peppers, and edamame tossed with ginger soy dressing.  So good!

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Tonight I’m going to babysit- hello $$$!  Hopefully the kids will be easy… I’m sort of low on patience today, haha. :) 

❤ C

 

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OpenSky!!

27 Jul

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That’s right!  On August 10th, my OpenSky store will be open for business!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to start selling products!  It’s like my own little business!  You can bet I’ll be selling lots of cute cookware, jewelry, running gear, and other stuff that I’m sure you’ll love.

The Open Sky Project is different from Amazon, etsy, and other websites where you can open up your own store.  OpenSky focuses on a concept they call relationship commerce. Basically, by reading my blog, you trust my judgment on products (don’t you?! :I ) and are more likely to buy a particular item that I endorse than one I don’t.

For example… let’s say you’re looking online for a new set of measuring cups.  You’re deciding between 2 brands- they’re the same price and you don’t know which to choose.  Sure, you could read the customer reviews on other websites, but with OpenSky, you’ll get MY opinion on items.  If you see on this blog that I made a delicious cake using said measuring cups, then you’ll feel more confident buying them.  And you’ll be buying from OpenSky, who will make sure that your order arrives on time. If you don’t like your purchase, you can send it back within 365 days- a whole year!

So, I’m the one recommending the products, you’re the one trusting my impeccable taste 😉 and OpenSky is the one making sure everything’s running smoothly.  It’s a safe, secure way to shop – I can already say from experience that OpenSky has incredible customer service!

I’m so excited (did I already mention that??) for my shop launch and I hope you will enjoy shopping in it!  I can’t tell you specific items I’ll be selling yet, but I will tell you one thing … you’re going to love them. 🙂

Blueberry Coffee Cake

27 Jul

When life gives you blueberries…

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Make blueberry coffee cake!

This cake is easy to make and super yummy.  It’s sweet, dense and cinnamon-y with plenty of crunchy streusel topping.  Not the most nutritious treat, but at least it has some antioxidants from the blueberries!

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Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.  Soften up a stick of unsalted butter.  If you’re impatient like me, you can cut it into pieces and pop it in the microwave for 30-or-so seconds.

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Add 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar.  Mix well.

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Add an egg.  What a pretty egg!

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Stir in 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a generous shaking of ground cinnamon.  Remember though- a little goes a long way!

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Add 2 cups of flour.

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And 1/2 cup of milk.  Yay for lactose-free milk!

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Now here’s the trick.  Put 3/4 cup blueberries in a bowl and sprinkle in about 2 tablespoons of flour.  Mix to coat the blueberries with the flour.  This will ensure that the berries don’t sink to the bottom while the cake is baking.

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Stir them right into the batter.

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Line a 9-inch square pan with foil and spray it with nonstick spray.  Spread the batter into the pan.  It should be a little thick, but that won’t be a problem.  It’s okay if some of the blueberries break during transport.  As you can see, a ton of mine did. 🙂

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Now you can make the streusel topping, which is the best part!  All you need to do is combine 1/3 cup each of flour and brown sugar, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. 

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Crumble it over the top of the cake.

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Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.  If the toothpick pokes a blueberry, try again with another one.  Your cake might be done even though the blueberries are still soft!  It’s good warm.  It’s better cold.  Make it today 🙂

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A Yummy Day

26 Jul

Hello 🙂

I woke up late today- 9:30 am!  And I was surprisingly not hungry.  Hmm.  I ate breakfast anyway.  Apparently eating it within 1 hour after waking up kick-starts your metabolism- always a good thing.  I had a cup of Oatmeal Squares and a vanilla Chobani yogurt.  I was going to mix them together, but decided against it since Oatmeal Squares are perfect on their own!  Love ‘em.

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Am I the only one out there who doesn’t like cereal with milk?  Ick.

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Yummy squares!!!  If you’ve never tried these before (I know they’re not the most… er… beautiful cereal) then I highly recommend you do!  They’re very nutritious, filling, and sweet but not too sweet.

After breakfast I headed to The Container Store to buy a backpack.  I found it online and it was just too cute!  I usually bring a tote to school, but this year I decided to go with the classic backpack.  The three years of tote-bag-carrying were starting to hurt my back.  Either that or I just have a weak back.

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I also stopped at the World Market… I was on a mission.  A mission to find Koala Yummies.  Remember those?  The little hollow cookies with koalas drawn on that chocolate creme inside? I used to eat them all the time when I was little.  Now they’re all but gone.  World Market sells the next best thing, though… Hello Panda cookies!

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They’re just as good as I remember.  And they’re from Singapore.

When I got home from my shopping excursion it was time for lunch.  I was craving peanut butter + banana so that’s what I made.  I warmed up a slice of La Brea bread (aka the best bread ever) in the microwave and topped it with peanut butter and banana slices.  Yum!

 

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I spread some more peanut butter on the rest of the banana.  This is the best combination! 🙂

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After lunch I headed to a post-op checkup with the oral surgeon.  Luckily everything healed fine.  Then my mom and I went to Dairy Queen!  I didn’t snap a photo because my ice cream was melting fast, but I got a chocolate cone.  So good!

Then I got to work on more AP homework.  Which is what I should be doing now.  😦

Hope everyone is having a lovely summer day!

❤ C

Chocolate Nut Protein Bars

25 Jul

I don’t know why, but I felt like making protein bars today.  Seeing as I’m such a scientist, I grabbed everything in my kitchen containing protein (except meat, of course), mixed it together, and baked it. 

Maybe it was a bit more formulaic than that. 

But not much.

Here’s the recipe.

 

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy, but creamy would work fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Scoop the peanut butter into a medium-sized bowl.

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Now add the protein powder.  I used GNC Lean Shake.

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And crack in the egg.  Usually I’d just use the whites, but it turns out the yolk is full of good amino acids and such.  And the cholesterol in the yolk isn’t too bad for you.  So I used the whole egg.  You can use 2 whites if you’d like.

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Now add the flour, vanilla extract, and chopped nuts.  You can certainly omit the nuts if you’d like.  Mix it all really well.  You should get a crumbly dough that holds it shape when pressed together.

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Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray.  I lined mine with foil before I sprayed it so the bars would be easier to remove.  If you’ve got some foil on hand, go for it.  If you don’t, don’t worry.

Press the dough into the pan.  Doesn’t it look appetizing?!

Not.

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Bake for 10-15 minutes.  When you touch the bars, they should feel firm but not crunchy.  If they look soft or dough-y, put them back in the oven for a few more minutes.

Now for the fun part.

Immediately after the bars come out of the oven, turn them out onto a wire cooling rack.

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Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the bars.  I used regular semisweet chips, but you could go darker if you’d like.  Peanut butter chips would be especially good.

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Now grab your offset spatula.

Or a knife if you don’t have one.

Please go buy one if you don’t have one.  It will become your best friend in the kitchen.  Anyway…

Wait a minute for the chips to melt, then spread the chocolate all over the bars.

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Cut them into squares.  Enjoy them.  Savor them.  Make some more of them.  Nobody will know they’re actually nutritious and packed with protein!

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This recipe is very adaptable.  Use whole-wheat flour, vanilla protein powder, GF flour, any nut butter, raisins, craisins, almonds, oats… you get what I’m saying.  Once you know how to make them, you can make them however you want! =)

Dresses, Kitties, and Yogurt

24 Jul

Hello lovelies =)  Good news: I found my camera!  It was actually in a really obvious place… typical.  Of course, after I found it I felt an urge to take pictures of everything.  Here is my outfit from Friday.  The dress and necklace are from Forever 21, and the necklace belongs to my sister.  I probably should have asked her before wearing it, but seeing as she receives all my old clothes, I think I deserve to wear one necklace every once in a while! 

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Here is my bag and new shoes, both from Target.  The shoes gave me blisters the first time I wore them, but that’s what I’ve come to expect from inexpensive sneakers.  No pain, no gain.

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Also yesterday my friend and I went to a sidewalk sale.  Basically every store in town sells stuff outside for lower prices.  Some of it was cute, but I didn’t end up buying anything.

Today, I picked up my Debutante dress!  It fits perfectly but needs to be hemmed.  I’m short.

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I also bought this Hello Kitty shirt.  Sorry for the bluriness.  Holding a camera and a hanger under your neck isn’t exactly a smart idea :/

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And this Hello Kitty notebook.  It’s just so cute!!  I’m the first to admit I have a slight Hello Kitty obsession.

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While shopping, my mom and I stopped at YogenFruz for lunch.  Frozen yogurt was much-needed on this hot day!  I like YogenFruz because they blend fruit into your yogurt, allowing you to make your own flavor.  I ordered raspberry yogurt with Oreo crumbles on top.

Yummy!

School Stuff 2 : American Eagle Outfitters

23 Jul

I’m just like every other teenager in the world.

I love shoes.

Correction: I love these shoes.

I’m so glad sneakers are coming back in style.  As much as I love flats and heels, they’re not too practical while navigating my 4-story high school.  Especially with my narrow, collapsible-arched feet.  I’ve been told my more than one doctor to stop wearing cute shoes altogether.  Heh.

As much as I enjoy shopping, I’m the first to admit that I’m a very picky buyer.  I don’t care about the brand names or the price, but if it’s not comfortable, I’m not buying it.  I hate itchy sweaters, non-stretchy jeans, and pretty much all synthetic fabrics.  Give me 100% cotton and I’m a happy girlie.  Like this cardigan.  I am a bit obsessed with the color.  It would make such a statement with a white sundress or your favorite pair of stretchy jeans.

And this ring.  Oh, this ring.  I actually have one very similar to it that I got as a 16th birthday gift from my parents, and I never ever take it off.  But this ring is just adorable.  It would make a lovely gift for someone you care about.  Or yourself.  Or someone you care about.

This looks cozzzzzy.

Tight shorts make any runner faster.  Or at least look faster.  Along with the above sweatshirt, this would make a great outfit for when you just finished working out and need to run some errands.  No matter how you look after you work out, you don’t really want people to see you.  Just sayin’.

 

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